By on October 18, 2014

1. Ram 2500 Long Horn Fort WorthRam 2500 Long Horn in Fort Worth – Texas

You can check out all the Coast to Coast reports as they are published here

The Coast to Coast reports are back, and after New Orleans we now land in Texas, literally the land of pickups trucks. This time Albert, my Ram 1500 ecoDiesel feeling now absolutely at home, took me to Houston, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth before heading North to Oklahoma City. Texas makes it look like the rest of America I have visited so far wasn’t really trying. It may sound cliché, but everything is bigger in Texas. My impressions as well as official sales data courtesy of JATO are below.

New York Oklahoma CityUSA Coast to Coast trip so far. Map courtesy of Google Maps.

First a bit of trivia about Texas, one of the most symbolic States of the United States. The name Texas is derived from the word “tejas” which means “friends” or “allies” in Caddo language. This term was used by the Spanish themselves when they controlled the area to describe both the region and the Caddo people, a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes who inhabited what is now East Texas, Northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a single federally recognised tribe.

2. GMC Sierra DallasGMC Sierra in Dallas, Texas

At 26.4 million inhabitants, Texas is the second most populous State in the U.S. after California, and would feature at #47 worldwide if it was an independent country at exactly the same figure as Afghanistan and in between such nations as Saudi Arabia (30.8 million) and Australia (23.6 million). It is the second largest State after Alaska at 268.600 sq miles (or 696.241 km2), larger than France. Main cities are Houston (2.2 million inhabitants) and San Antonio (1.4 million) with the largest metropolitan area being the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex at 6.4 million souls and its capital being Austin at 885,400 inhabitants.

3. Toyota Tundra DallasToyota Tundra in Dallas, Texas

Texas has had a tumultuous history, being successively ruled by various nations: Spain, France then Mexico until 1836 when Texas became an independent Republic, before joining the U.S. as the 28th state in 1845. Texas is also called the Lone Star State, and its flag features a single star, a reference to its former status of a independent republic and as a reminder of the state’s struggle for independence from Mexico. Now. Trivia is out of the way, let’s get down to business.

4. Albert Texas State lineAlbert posing next to the Louisiana/Texas State line

And first things first, a few reports ago I said “I still am yet to spot a true American lunatic driving frankly dangerously, and I have found American highways one of the most relaxing and predictable driving experiences of my life.” That was in South Carolina. Well. I am now eating my words as everything changes the minute you cross the Texas State line. Lunatic drivers are more frequent than non-, unpredictable lane changes are the norm and speed limits are a long lost memory. To my advantage, pickup trucks rule the highways and ‘standard’ cars have no issues getting out of the way as soon as I get too close, not wanting to break my cruise control. So far so good.

5. Ford F150 Dallas 3Ford F150 in Dallas, Texas. Albert looks tiny next to it!

I started this article by saying Texas made me feel like the rest of America I had seen so far wasn’t really trying. Example: the huge highways around Houston. The I10 that circles the city at times becomes a 7 lane-highway. I simply had not seen such a thing at any time before and especially not in Los Angeles where I’ve been a few times (anyone care to correct this?), however this may be linked to the scarceness of public transport in Houston. Most interestingly, far from being an over-zealously built and unnecessarily grandiose undertaking, the 7 lanes were put to good use on a Saturday night at 9pm, each one filled with a regular flow of cars driving at speed limit or more. Impressive.

Bigger highways, but also bigger car dealerships. I drove past the largest dealership I’ve seen so far on the trip on the I10 a few miles West of Houston: Don McGill Toyota of Houston. Their website lists an inventory of 1.500 cars on site. Although I didn’t drive past it, It’s also worth noting the Fred Haase Toyota World dealership on the I45 North of Houston: the #1 Tundra dealer in the world and #1 volume dealer in Texas overall, with 2.860 vehicles on inventory right now. While huge, these are however not the largest dealerships in the country: the crown goes to Longo Toyota near Pasadena in California which is simply the largest car dealership in the world. No less. 15.000 vehicles sold a year, 50 acres, 500 employees, 30 languages and dialects spoken and complete with Subway restaurant and Starbucks café on site… It’s a different planet. But we digress…

6. Pickups DallasPickup trucks and motels. Now we truly are in America.

Texas is the kingdom of pickup trucks. Proof: according to Polk, pickup sales in the state were 3 times that of the #2 pickup market (California), and Texas accounts for 1 in 6 full-sized pickups sold nationally, whereas it holds only 8% of the national population. Even more impressive: the Houston metro area alone would rank #5 among pickup markets if it were a separate state. Dallas would be #7, as more pickups are sold just in the Dallas and Houston areas combined than in any other U.S. state, including No. 2 California. And more: even excluding both Dallas and Houston, Texas would still be the No. 1 pick-up state in the country!

6b Pickups Fort WorthPassenger cars are becoming rarer and rarer. In Fort Worth, Texas.

As a result, pickup truck manufacturers obviously pay particular attention to the Texan market, and most have special editions named in reference to this state: Ram has the LongHorn, Ford has the F-Series Texas Edition, Chevrolet has the Silverado… Texas Edition also while Toyota has the Tundra 1794 Edition named for the ranch, founded in 1794, upon which the truck’s assembly plant is located in San Antonio. At the State Fair of Texas in Dallas late last month, Toyota also unveiled a Tundra Bass Pro-Shop Offroad Edition available only to customers in the Gulf states region. Interestingly, only Toyota manufactures its full-size pickup truck locally in Texas and has recently relocated its headquarters from California to the Lone Star state. Last year at the launch of the new generations Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra, Automotive News noted that General Motors was piping as much as half of their initial national supply of 2014 pickups to Texas… Partly helped by their good health here, national sales of full-size pickup trucks hit 2 million units in 2013 and for the first time since 2007.

11. Ford F250 Fort WorthFord F250 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Ford F250 is the #5 best-seller in Texas.

But what are the best-selling vehicles in Texas overall?

Pos Model FY2013
1 Ford F-150 96,663
2 Chevrolet Silverado 78,047
3 Ram Pickup 67,378
4 Toyota Camry 36,953
5 Ford F-250 33,305

Source: JATO

Ford and Chevrolet take advantage of their extensive rural dealer network to take the top two spots with the F-150 just below 100,000 units, by far its best state score in the country, and the Silverado at almost 80,000. Seeing 3 or 4 current generation F-150 in a row is not uncommon on Texan highways. The Ram Pickup rounds up the podium at 67,000 and surprisingly, unlike Louisiana, the Top 4 is not 100% composed of pickup trucks with the Toyota Camry managing to point its much smaller bonnet in 4th position – albeit with just a little more than half the sales of the Ram. Tellingly, the Ford F-250 Super Duty makes its very first appearance in any State’s Top 5 so far thanks to a mammoth 33,305 sales in Texas. Interestingly, Toyota doesn’t place the Tundra inside the Top 5.

7. Chevrolet Impala DallasChevrolet Impala in Dallas, Texas

Thorough observation of the traffic on Texan highways also reveals the following: there are more Ford Edge and Cadillac XTS here than anywhere before during this trip, the new generation Chrysler 200 and Chevrolet Impala are back on the roads for the first time since Memphis, and the Toyota Tundra is strong but even though it is produced locally, it was more frequent in Northern Virginia or Western Louisiana. Austin struck me as a hipster chic town with more Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf, less pickup trucks and the strongest heritage of previous generation Toyota Corolla so far in the trip. The Nissan Altima and Honda Accord should top the sales charts there.

10. Chrysler 200 Dallas with Kennedy detailsChrysler 200 in Dallas, Texas

The Ford F150 clearly dominates the Dallas vehicle landscape, potentially holding up to 10% market share there and way above the Chevrolet Silverado, more so than Texas-wide. The base version with plastic bumpers (playing in the same sandpit as my Ram “Albert” 1500 Tradesman) is the Hero of the state. A truckload of them all through Texas and in Dallas in particular, pun intended. There were almost no F250 and F350 in town, only outside on working sites (makes sense) and the new generation Chrysler 200 was stronger again in Dallas. As whole, both the Nissan Armada and Titan are a notch stronger in Texas than they are in the rest of the states I visited so far.

Highlights of the trip in the Lone Star state were the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas (see above), another very thorough museum this time about JFK’s assassination, and Fort Worth, which you might say is touristic yet oh so reassuringly and symbolically Texan. I bought a cowboy hat and belt. I had to. When in Texas… Meanwhile Albert, my valiant Ram 1500 Tradesman truck with ecoDiesel, has now crossed the 3,000 miles milestone in this trip, standing at 3,144 miles (5,069 km) by the time I arrived in Dallas. Fuel economy now stands at 26.4 mpg, still above the 24 average advertised by Ram for city/highway. Very happy with that one.

Next stop: Oklahoma City.

 8. Chevrolet CK Series Fort WorthChevrolet CK Series in Fort Worth, Texas

Ford F150 DallasFord Mustang and F150 in Dallas, Texas

9. Chevrolet Silverado Fort WorthChevrolet Silverado in Fort Worth, Texas

12. Dodge Durango Fort WorthDodge Durango in Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth street scene 1Fort Worth street scene

Hyundai Elantra GT DallasHyundai Elantra GT in Dallas, Texas

Nissan Altima TexasNissan Altima near Austin, Texas

Ram 2500 Fort WorthRam Pickup in Fort Worth, Texas

Toyota Camry Fort Worth 2Toyota Camry in Fort Worth, Texas

Ford Explorer Fort Worth 2Ford Explorer in Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth ColiseumFort Worth Coliseum

Toyota Tundra Fort WorthToyota Tundra in Fort Worth, Texas

Ford F150 Dallas 2Ford F150 in Dallas, Texas

Toyota Corolla DallasToyota Corolla in Dallas, Texas

Ford F250 Fort Worth 2Ford F250 in Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth street scene 2Fort Worth street scene

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67 Comments on “Coast to Coast 2014: Everything Is Bigger In Texas...”


  • avatar

    This is going to be interesting because normally I’m in OKC, but today I’m in Houston. Pretty much everything you’ve observed about Texas was spot-on, IMO. I got a really nice look at Dallas while I was stuck in a two-hour traffic jam on the I-35E S on Thursday. Looking forward to your write-up of OKC!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” everything you’ve observed about Texas was spot-on, IMO.”

      Mine too, and it is close to MY neck of the woods except that things get more desolate the farther you go West in Texas and into New Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I live west of Houston where there is lots of ranching and everybody, including me, have a truck. When I go into Houston, the percentage of trucks goes way down. Which I suppose is typical around the country.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      “Well. I am now eating my words as everything changes the minute you cross the Texas State line. Lunatic drivers are more frequent than non-, unpredictable lane changes are the norm and speed limits are a long lost memory”

      As one who spent half his life in the heart of Louisiana and the other half in Texas; I can vouch for this 1000%.

      You never know what you will encounter driving in the DFW area. One evening on my way home, I saw a flash of white directly to my left, I turned to see an SUV rolling over and along the median fence just a few feet away. My son was driving at midnight on freeway with a 70 MPH speed limit to suddenly see a car fully stopped in front of him, he served to barely miss it. I have done the same with a metal shelf in the middle of the road.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Isn’t that the new 200 by the JFK kill spot?

  • avatar

    So Matt do you think an EcoDiesel Ram would sell well in Australia?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @crazycarlarry,
      I would love to see the diesel Ram here in Australia. I don’t know how well it would sell. The US has tried several times over the past several decades to sell US full size pickups and SUVs.

      Full size pickups used to be relatively common from the late 50s into the 70s. If you wanted a smaller pickup you bought a Valiant, Ford, Holden ute.

      The Japanese came out with more efficient vehicles that did the same job. So businesses ran with the cheapest vehicles to use.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – I wouldn’t call it a wholehearted effort. They were South American built Super Dutys of dubious quality. Then the OZ government said gas V8s only. Sales tanked after that.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DiM,
          WTF, again?????

          As many have informed you in the past, use the INTERNET and research prior to making a fool of yourself.

          Now what countries did we get our pickups from in the 60s and 70s????

          Brazil??? You don’t have a clue regarding the history of the automobile in the US.

          Maybe Spain??? That country with a huge F Series market???

          Oh, and don’t come out with some lame ass excuse like usual,……….look at my comment……in particular the years I’ve quoted.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – You obviously can’t help yourself. Start by stating where I’m wrong, instead of all the other pointless dribble you bring up. I’m not gonna repeat it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM,
            You continually present malicious arguments that are unsubstantiated.

            You never research to ensure your comments are valid or credible. Verify prior to commenting. This will give credibility to your argument.

            There can only be two reasons why you are making the comment as you do;

            1. You are very stupid, and/or

            2. You are trolling.

            I will continue to combat these deficient attributes that are on constant display by you.

            If you want them to stop, then furnish a credible argument.

            There are very few on TTAC who like yourself contribute nothing generally but low value information that is generally incorrect.

            I’m not discussing opinion, but verifiable information, ie, FACT, like you’ve just presented.

            So, if you want it to stop, then look at your actions.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – If you’re not even going to attempt proving me wrong, why even initiate an argument?

            All your ranting/trolling is really saying is you don’t like what I said, or don’t like me saying it. Other than that, whatcha got???

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DiM,
          You see, the INTERNET is a great tool, like you.

          Engine choices began with a 4.2-litre turbo-diesel six-cylinder fitted only to XL models, a 5.4-litre V8 that was standard in rear-wheel drive 250XLTs, and the 7.3-litre turbocharged V8 diesel available in 250XL and XLTs. Most had a four-speed automatic transmission but a six-speed manual was available in 4×4 versions.

          http://www.motoring.com.au/advice/2012/ford/f100/buying-used-ford-f-series-pickup-2001-2008-31383

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “They were South American built Super Dutys of dubious quality. Then the OZ government said gas V8s only. Sales tanked after that.”‘

          I’m not sure where you’re getting that.

          There were Brazilian made trucks exported there, but the volume limits were based upon laws in Australia that limited the company that was doing the RHD conversions to 100 vehicles per year. https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/motor/standards/str_lowvol.aspx They have also been extremely expensive, so not much demand — they cost twice as much in Australia as they do in the US.

          The conversion company has since gained some sort of new certification that will allow them to produce 1,000 units per year. Still not a lot of vehicles, and they are still going to be pricy.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101,
            You are correct. DiM was referring to those terrible Brazilian Fords HDs.

            Those 1 000 SuperDuties will sell. Here in Australia they are used as toys and not really work trucks.

            Here’s some interesting information bound to upset DiM regarding the capacity of the SuperDuties here in Australia.

            …………………………………….

            The centrepiece of the blue oval truck is a 6.7-litre turbo diesel V8 that churns out a hearty 328kW of power and 1166Nm of torque. Drive is sent all four wheels via a six-speed automatic – culminating in a maximum braked towing capacity of 4.5 tonnes in Australia. Payload capacity, meanwhile, is rated (seemingly conservatively) at 1100kg. As a comparison it’s worth noting that a diesel-powered 4×4 dual-cab Ford Ranger is capable of towing 3500kg and has a payload of 1132kg

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – At those kind of exotic prices, pushing $140K, I wouldn’t expect them to do hard labour. A rich farmer’s show truck, maybe. That doesn’t mean they can’t do 3 or 4X the work of midsize pickups of similar configuration.

            But here’s what you originally said:

            “The US has tried several times over the past several decades to sell US full size pickups and SUVs.”

            Well, which ones besides Super Dutys?
            Certainly no 1/2 tons US pickups.

            So what chance do way overpriced trucks of poor quality, have vs all else?

            And is that really “trying”?

            Really you can’t compare Aussie truck ratings to US pickups. The Aussie market has no US DOT equivalent and leaves payload and towing capacity entirely up to the OEM’s sense of humour!

            Although at one point the Aussie gov banned the import of the diesel Super Duty and there was little demand for the Brazilian Super Dutys after that.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Wait, so the government of Australia is artificially limiting the number of full-size trucks that can be imported? At least we just make the importers pay a tariff. Imagine if we had told Toyota back in the day “sorry…you can only import 100 Hiluxes per year.”

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Mkirk,
            Yes, I do think there are restrictions the amount anyone can import. You can obviously import 1 000 at a time.

            But there is no restriction on total numbers overall.

            If everyone wanted to import say a F-250 they can. But one person can’t import 10 000. If that was the case then Ford would import them to sell. I don’t know to many people that need 100 let alone 1 000 F-250s.

            Do you?? Even in the US??

            The Australian grey importation market appears to be geared towards the enthusiasts. What makes them so expensive is the conversion from LH to RH.

            The problem with the US is just can’t have any grey imports at all. I suppose if I only wanted, say 7 SuperDuties, one for each day I can import them.

            In summary, I do think you are looking at the restriction in a rather illogical fashion or you have read some left wing economic unionist propaganda;)

            As I have told DiM, use the net so you can make an educated comment. I’d also bet there is an Australian Government site that could inform you accurately on what the go is;

            Nice try anyways.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Mkirk,
            Further;
            Why do we potentially require 2.4 billion F-250s (that is using your numbers).

            If each and every person is allowed to import 100 grey market vehicles this could occur;)

            So, how many Hilux’s do you know of in the US. I do personally know 3 guys where I work with SDs.

            Not bad, you guys in the US can only dream of what we can buy and drive. Freedom to choose is great.

            You are as bad as DiM, boy, try harder next time.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            I don’t know who you are talking to there hero, but I am currently shopping for a 70 series Land Cruiser or a Euro G series diesel. I have found plenty of them in the US. And even if I find a nice RHD one then I don’t have to spend a ton converting it…I can just drive it because my government makes the assumption that I am smart enough to, you know, shift gears with my left hand.

            I love Australia. I work with several of your countrymen here in Afghanistan and have nothing but positive things to say about them . You however, unlike them are a condescending AS$.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Imagine if we had told Toyota back in the day ‘sorry…you can only import 100 Hiluxes per year.\'”

            During the 80s, the Reagan administration did that with Japanese cars. That was actually a smart move for the US, as it motivated the Japanese to start building plants in the US. (It also prompted the creation of Acura, Lexus and Infiniti.)

            In any case, the RHD mandate is arguably a trade barrier of sorts, but I can’t fault the Aussies for wanting the steering wheels to be on the, er, correct side of the car. Why Ford doesn’t engineer them to be RHD-ready, I don’t know; I would think that wouldn’t be difficult to do these days.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Mkirk,
            Then don’t provide fodder for me to respond to your ill considered comments.

            You know if you guys want to present an argument for the sake of an argument, then what do you expect?

            Read your comment it is a deliberate troll.

            DiM does the same by walking that fine line between trolling and fact as does Pch101.

            Who’s the a$$??

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Mkirk,
            If you read this thread from the top it appears you guys have pushed this discussion towards where it is now.

            It’s called trolling.

            If you want to present and argument to me then use fact. Don’t just write some trolling comment to be an A$$ yourself.

            I do think you’ll see where I’m coming from.

            I do and can converse in a very civil manner to those worthy of my respect on this site.

            But when you are trolling I will bounce on you.

            You aren’t making me look silly here. I really don’t care how many “facebook” friends I have on TTAC.

            I comment on TTAC to contribute accurate content.

            Oh, so all of these 70s Series you know of, how old are they?? Over 25 years.

            Again accuracy without spin or a troll.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Not just this post Al…your comments are usually filled with anti-American vitriol and general cheese-dickery. As far as I am concerned you can take your little trucks and drive em’ right up your AS$.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Mkirk,
            Anti-American?

            Where have I ever made an anti-American comment?

            I mean if someone is overweight and I call them fat does that make me anti-fat?

            Don’t confuse your left wing UAW ideals as pro American, because they are far from it.

            I’m pro trade and anti tariffs.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Left Wing Pro UAW?! Wow. I am a registered libertarian from Georgia who is pro right to work. But keep on projecting man.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You have to forgive Al, he’s just not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

            If you play Big Al Bingo (and I wouldn’t suggest that you do, since that would require that you read his posts), then make sure that your card has “UAW” on it, as that is his stock retort whenever he doesn’t grasp what someone else has said. (Which is to say that he uses it regularly.) Dumb people tend to have small toolkits.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I have almost always been a gmc guy but that red longhorn – damn! The new gm’s are just hideous. I have no real use for a truck especially an hd but I would buy that ram on looks alone.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I wish manufacturers would stop integrating the plastic air dams on trucks, it would make it so much easier on consumers. 10 little bolts straight across, that’s all you have to do, no wrapping the metal bumper down at the ends, that looks stupid when removed. The only thing worse is when the metal of the bumper goes below the center of the wheel, seriously WTF, are you selling trucks or cute Utes?

    Anyways… Keep the stories coming, I really enjoy them!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The number of people who complain about it pales in comparison to the number of people who’ve never even thought about it, either because they’ll never take their 4×4 offroad or they have a 4×2 and never plan to. But that extra .5 MPG acheived by having the air dam means an extra x-thousand gallons of gas saved everyday.

    • 0 avatar

      IIRC Chevy claimed with the GMT 900 the Bumper design helped air flow enough to net them 1-1.5 mpg increase (5% increase)Which at the time and (still today) MPG is a big deal for consumers and CAFE and since 90%of the trucks will never be in a situation where it’s an issue it makes perfect sense.

      On a personal note I would prefer not to have a low hanging bumper either but I understand why they do it.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        If I ever lived someplace with 90% pavement, no steep driveways, and had a pickup, the bumper could be an inch off the ground for all I cared, just as long as it gets me better MPG.

  • avatar
    50merc

    “land of pickup trucks” …. yep, and in Oklahoma too. Back in the day when the Japanese started selling compact trucks, I liked to say “Someday I’d like to live in a state in which “imported sports car” doesn’t mean a Toyota pickup”.

  • avatar

    I have no idea how one would readily measure this. Wondering how skewed the sales numbers for both Dallas and Austin are because more people than you would believe go to Dallas to buy new cars. You take a day, and can save 20-25% over the cost in Austin. When in Austin, take a look at the dealer stickers roaming about.

    • 0 avatar

      Absolutely. I got a one-way rental car and drove the 200 or so miles from OKC to Autonation VW in Dallas this summer and saved a bundle versus what the local VW dealers wanted for the same vehicle. And they had it all ready for me when I got there, too. I was in and out within an hour. It was great. Certainly I can imagine that people in relatively-nearby Austin travel to large Dallas dealerships that can afford to put tremendous discounts on individual units and make it up in sheer volume…

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        I’ll do you one better; I took a one-way using Delta miles and bought an Accord in Houston for $9k under msrp. $22k for a 2012 EXL. Then I drove it home… To Boise, Idaho. My backup plan was to snag any number of Taurus Limiteds withering on the lots.

        FWIW, I grew up primarily in Houston. Next vehie will come from whatever locale has the best deal.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      One of the advantages of buying a pickup truck in the DFW area is large selection on dealer lots. Helped my dad buy a work truck at a whole dealership that specialized in lower trim work trucks. Any color you want as long as it’s white. His small town dealerships ordered trucks loaded with extra-profit accessories while a Texas work truck had air conditioning and a V8 with none of the extra stuff.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Matt,
    Your FE is dropping from around 30mpg to 26.4.

    Are you driving at higher speeds or are you becoming more involved in urban driving? A heavier right foot at the lights?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I can’t believe how giant fullsize trucks are getting. Back in 2001 I bought a Chevy Avalanche Z71 – 19.6 feet long, 6’4″ with the factory roof rack feet high, 6’7″ wide – over 7′ wide with the mirrors out. Weight with 31 gallons of gas and two humans up front, right around 6,000 pounds.

    About three weeks ago I saw a Chevy Avalanche on I-5, it was side-by-side with one of the new Ram 1500 crew cab trucks.

    Holy mother of God – the new Ram is feckin’ HUGE. It dwarfed the Avalanche in comparison, and most people considered that ridiculous large when I bought it 14 years ago.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @BAFO – It’s hard to tell what you were expecting. Diesel too get less mpg when it involves slowing down and occasionally stopping.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Thanks for dropping by Matt. Loved the story. I have lived in the Houston area since retiring from the Navy in 81. Would hate to live in another part of the country but agree with you concerning the driving. Thats one reason I live in the boondocks north of Houston.

    Some of us only carry air in the bed of a truck. For others it’s pretty much a tool. For me it’s not a truck but an SUV but with different trailers for different jobs. Looking forward to the next article.

  • avatar
    redav

    A few nitpicks:

    I-10 doesn’t circle Houston. There are multiple loop systems, but I-10 simply cuts right through the center.
    The Haas family of dealerships doesn’t have an e at the end.
    I know other places treat highway designations as adjectives, hence “the I-10” (because it’s short for “the I-10 freeway”), but here the highway designation is a proper name. Thus, the article “the” is not used. It sounds as silly to us as people saying “the Matt” when referring to you.

    As for the condition of public transportation, that’s a fascinating study all by itself. Houston is the largest geographical city in the US that is not merged with its county. Houston managed to set itself up so that it can annex–at will–any area of Harris County. It does this to increase its tax revenue, but it also doesn’t have to begin providing services for something like 20 yrs.
    The result is a split personality for public transportation. Some areas have excellent bus service, and others are utterly ignored. The core of the city is the only area that seems to matter to METRO. The only service outlying areas get is to/from downtown. That park-and-ride system for commuters actually works quite well but only if you go to/from downtown.
    The city has spent a tremendous amount on light rail, but the initial line was only to service the superbowl. (It connects the football stadium & downtown.) They are now expanding the rail system, but there will be no lines going to the airports or to the suburbs for commuters for the foreseeable future.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Redav, great corrections! To elaborate further, if you want to screw with the tourists – call the highways by their local names (I10E = East Frwy, I10W = Katy Frwy, I45N = North Frwy, I45S = Gulf Frwy, 59N = Eastex Frwy, 59S = Southwest Frwy, 288S = South Frwy).

      Meanwhile we have the concentric circles of The Loop (610), The Beltway (BW8), and The Parkway (99).

      In my 30+ years here, the growth in this town, in fact the entire state, has been phenomenal. Not necessarily good, but it continues. Austin was a little sleepy hippy town of *only* 250k way back then. The 50 year plans include encapsulating Navasota (currently 60 miles away)…and yes, Houston can annex it’s way up there as it desires. Still, an hour out of town and the driving is spectacular.

      The Matt, I must have missed your Houston pictures! Way too many on Fort Worth – really, a cowtown?? I jest – I love Fort Worth – it’s so much nicer than Dallas!

      Dealey Plaza is an incredible place to visit – I do so every November when I’m in Dallas for the auto auction. The buildings, the setting, the museum – all permanently etched in our national consciousness.

      Next time through Houston, be sure you catch the ship channel, the downtown tunnels, the Galleria, the Orange Show, and Texas Direct Auto – the place is amazing, with shuttles coming in from the airport full of folks who have flown in to pick up their car purchased on eBay.

      • 0 avatar

        The Dave,
        I did not stop in Houston which is why there are no pictures! Will endeavour to do so next time I promise.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        And don’t forget the partial loop of Hwy 6 & FM 1960.

        You’re exactly right about the colloquial names of freeways (and other roads) versus the formal names. No map ever shows “Katy Freeway,” but that’s what everyone calls it, and even shows up on street signs. If anything could ruin a tourist’s day, that would be it. And now they’re trying to call 1960 something like Cypress Pkwy or some other such nonsense.

  • avatar
    George B

    Matt, the “Drive Friendly” signs have been a joke ever since I’ve been in Texas. To be fair, I-35 needs to be 3 lanes each way to handle the volume of traffic. Driving on rural highways without city traffic is more relaxing.

    • 0 avatar

      A joke indeed. People in Texas (especially in Dallas and Houston) will tailgate you for no apparent reason, as if you could be going 20 MPH faster, even though there’s a long line of cars in front of you. They will also use merge lanes to pass on the right, and come dangerously close to hitting slower traffic. I have several moments wherein I’m thinking, “B!tch, does it look like *I’m* the one slowing traffic down? Don’t you see this traffic jam stretching into the horizon?” Also, coming back from Galveston, there were a couple of ambulances on the highway (I think it was I-45N) and people outright refused to get over and let them through. The good news is that police around here won’t pull me over, because there’s always someone else going faster, and who’ll net a bigger ticket revenue…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @BAFO – You bring such an unmatched combination of arrogance and ignorance to the interwebs, never seen before. You said:

    “The US has tried several times over the past several decades to sell pickups…”

    It was the Super Duty only, and you can hardly call that “trying”. A hacked up RHD conversion/interior, base trim only, and offered at a laughable $120,000!

    It wasn’t that they were “conservatively” rated, but they simply retained USDOT capacity, vs midsize Utes with capacity ratings left entirely to the OEMs sense of humour! There’s no USDOT equivalent in OZ.

    Why must everything be spin with you?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      With all due respect to both of you, can you just read comments for what they are and not use it as an excuse for a long-winded argument? What you say is true, but you say it with such vitriol that it turns off anyone who might want to actually hold a civil discussion.

      And FWIW, I saw very little spin (although there was some there) in Al’s comments. Perhaps both of you should meet in real life, face to face.

      And just to make it clear, I am on no-one’s “side” in this fight.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @DIM or……….;)
      Hey, use google you still have f4cked it up.

      First off the truck that myself and Pch101 are discussing is the now, not the past.

      I even presented you with a link with that information. WTF you say.

      How can you debate if you don’t look at what the argument is? Read the link provided.

      Are you trolling, or just plain stupid? Stupid is as stupid does.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I said this before, but my comment got lost. So I’ll say it again, though with considerably more brevity:

        Why must everything be a point of argument between you two? And why must said argument be so uncivil?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – Yeah. Grey market trucks. So what? Off topic. But still mega dollar pickups for rich @$$ ranchers. And the same ol’ BAFO.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Test to find out if any of my comments are getting through. An entire article just went missing.

  • avatar
    mags1110

    Its pronounced and spelled, “internets”

  • avatar
    the_yeti

    I live in San Francisco and I am in Houston right now. What I notice is that I am always driving faster than everyone else on the feeder roads, there are no Prius, and gas is cheap here. The Prius thing gets me the most, at home there are 5 parked on my street, and I’ve been here a week and not seen one.


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